There is nothing more precious than a child. There is also nothing more frustrating than a child. They need constant attention and love to test boundaries. As parents, our job is to lead our children down the right path, teach them right from wrong, and shower them with love. Sometimes that can be hard to do when children push your buttons over and over again. Instead of letting the stress get to you, learn how to keep your cool around your children. You are their greatest mentor and ultimately they will do as you do.
Pause and Take a Deep Breath
When you feel the blood filling up your head and you feel like you are about to explode, pause. This pause will make you stop and think about what you are about to do or say. This, coupled with a deep breath, gives your body some time to cope, if even for only a few seconds. A moment of silence can help de-escalate the situation.
Lower Your Voice
Believe it or not, simply lowering your own voice will trick your body into thinking you are calm. Even if you feel stressed beyond belief, lower your voice and your anger will follow. The extra bonus is that your children will respond more to a controlled voice than a loud one. Even switching to a whisper can change the mood of everyone. Know that most young children misbehave when they are unable to communicate their needs, try and say the words for them.
Step Out of the Room
If you feel yourself getting out of control, step out of the room. It is better to remove yourself from the situation than to say something or do something you will regret. This is very effective for discipline as well. It shows children that bad behaviour and wrong choices are not rewarded with attention. Good behaviour should receive attention. If you can not leave the room, such as when you are driving, you can ignore the behaviour and open a window.
Watch Parents You Admire
Take a step back and watch the way other parents disciple and treat their children. In fact, this could be your spouse or partner interacting with your children. As long as you admire their parental skills, they will make a good role model. When difficult situations arise, try to think and act as you think your role model would act.
Look Back at Videos or Photos
We all love our children. Sometimes, however, we need to be reminded just how special they are. The terrible two’s and the ‘three-nagers’ make it easy to forget how innocent children are deep inside. Look back at photographs and cute videos to recall your undying, unconditional love. They grow up so fast!
Children soak up everything we say, but mostly everything we do. Losing control only teaches kids that it is okay to lose their temper. Instead, teach your children through your actions how much better it is to disciple with love than with fear.
About the author:
Jeannine Laubner is the Academic Director of Kipinä Kids Nurseries and Preschools, the world’s fastest-growing international Finnish preschool franchise. She is a fourth-generation teacher, and mother of two Kipinä-educated children. Hailing from San Francisco, USA, she is a successful leader in education with over 18 years of experience. Jeannine holds a Masters degree in Teaching, a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and Cross-Cultural Language and Academic Development certification. When she is not developing teaching tools for the Kipinä Enhanced Finland Curriculum, she is supporting green initiatives, animal welfare and Girl Scouts Overseas.